There’s no reason for a film like Kingdom Come to exist except to pad out the resumes of the people involved in its production. It’s a cynical, low budget rip off made with no conviction, style, or originality whatsoever. It’s the kind of film people make for the sake of making something, not because they actually believe in what they’re doing. And if director and co-writer Greg A. Sager does believe in his shameless, inept aping of Saw 2 and Phantasm, then good for him. The film is made for absolutely nobody else.
Several people wake up in an apparently abandoned hospital, held hostage by an unknown captor or supernatural force that keeps them on the property and hallucinating that their past sinful transgressions have come back to light. Some of them are connected by past fate, almost all of them have done hideous and horrible things where the audience doesn’t care if they live or die, and the heroine did something so common that including her in this batch of lowlifes feels like an incredibly low blow instead of a novel plot point.
Everything about Kingdom Come is purposefully designed to be miserable, but there’s nothing interesting in the misery and suffering here. The kills are predominantly off screen because the production can’t afford to show much of anything. The one setting is dull, murky, and debris strewn, but not like any run of the mill abandoned building. Sager simply shoots shadows and blood on the floor, hoping that just the sight of them will make spines tingle. The story seems like it has huge chunks missing from it, not so cleverly covered up by having characters occasionally black out to obscure the jerky narrative. The characters (which include a Middle Eastern racist, a black rapist who Sager pervertedly shows claiming all of his victims unnecessarily in flashbacks, a pedophile, a drunk driver, a junkie, and an implied hooker) garner no sympathy because none of them ever does anything more than spout bile. It’s a film where people swear for the sake of swearing, and no one on screen can credibly sell any of the dialogue because it sounds ludicrous no matter how one would even attempt to read it. If one were to take a shot every time someone awkwardly said “motherfucker” they would probably need hospitalization.
Leading lady Camille Hollett-French does what she can, but the script barely gives her anything to work with. Only an appropriately hammy Jason Martorino, as a mysterious man who shows up halfway through the film, injects any life into this otherwise dreary and useless affair.
Worst of all: it’s boring. For all its implied nastiness and transgression there isn’t a single thing even worth getting angry about. It tries so hard to push the audience’s buttons that the button breaks in the first few minutes. Beyond the rapist plotline, there’s nothing I can even get angry or upset about because the whole thing feels on autopilot. It’s cinematic vapor. (Andrew Parker)
Sunday, November 30th, Carlton Cinemas, 4:00pm and 7:00pm